US dollar gains as jobless claims soar to 3.2 million
The price of crude oil pared back earlier losses as traders waited for actions by Saudi Arabia. This is after Mike Pompeo pleaded to the country yesterday to intervene and stabilize oil markets. He made the statement as he headed to a meeting with fellow G20 ministers. The statement came a day after he phoned Mohammed bin Salman and asked him to intervene. If Saudi fails to intervene, the Trump administration could add sanctions to the country, which would create a new geopolitical crisis. Also, if the country doesn’t intervene, oil prices could fall further because of a lack of demand.
The sterling was little moved today as traders received retail sales data from the US and interest rates decision from the Bank of England (BoE). The retail sales numbers showed that activity started to slow even before the current Coronavirus crisis. In February, headline retail sales declined by -0.3% after rising by 0.9% in the previous month. The core retail sales declined by 0.5% after rising by 1.8% in the previous month. Bad weather and transport challenges affected these sales. Meanwhile, the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 0.1%. The bank also reiterated that it expects to leave the current rates unchanged for at least one year. The members also increased the amount of QE in March to £645 billion from the previous £645 billion.
The US dollar was relatively unchanged as traders reacted to the jobless claims. The numbers showed that more than 3.2 million Americans filed for jobless claims in the past week. This number, which is the worst data in history, shows how bad the situation is in the country. The continuing jobless claims rose to more than 1.83 million in the past week. Meanwhile, GDP data from the US showed that the economy remained steady in the fourth quarter. The economy grew by 2.1% in the quarter as was expected. These numbers, while important, did not move the market because traders are now focused on the first and second quarters of the year.
The XBR/USD pair pared back some of its earlier losses. It is now trading at 29.50, which is slightly above the day’s low of 28.70. On the 30-minute chart, the price is between the 38.2% and 50% Fibonacci Retracement levels. The price is between the middle and upper lines of the Bollinger Bands. It is also forming a symmetrical triangle pattern. This indicates that the pair could have a significant breakout in the near term.
The EUR/GBP pair declined slightly after the BOE delivered its rates decision. The pair reached a low of 0.9135, which is the lowest level since yesterday. On the hourly chart, we see that the pair has been forming a symmetrical triangle pattern. The price is also slightly below the 14-day and 28-day exponential moving averages. The money flow index, which is similar to the RSI, has been declining. The pair may continue moving lower to test yesterday’s low of 0.9054.
The EUR/USD pair declined slightly after the negative jobless claims. This is partly because the data was expected to be bad. On the hourly chart, the pair had tested the important resistance level of 1.0985. This is after it moved above the upper line of the symmetrical triangle that had formed in the past few days. The pair may now continue moving lower to test the previous support at 1.0890.